Isolation and Identification of Bacteria Associated with Wound Sepsis

ISOLATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF BACTERIA ASSOCIATED WITH WOUND SEPSIS

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CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1       Background to the Study

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Wound care constitutes an important part of routine care given by health professionals to the community population (Meaume,  Keriheul & Fromantin, 2012). An effective management of wounds, especially chronic wounds, in the health care setting can have an impact in the population health, reducing morbidity and improving function and quality of life. Wounds presented by patients vary from one setting to another, ranging from acute surgical wounds, traumatic wounds such as those that occur following an accident, burn wounds or chronic wounds such as diabetic foot, leg and pressure ulcers.

Isolation and Identification of Bacteria Associated with Wound Sepsis

All wounds are contaminated with microorganisms that are part of the saprophytic microflora of the skin and the type and quantity of these microorganisms vary from one wound to another (Cooper & Lawrence, 1996). Some important factors such as origin, body location, size and duration of the wound should be taken into account in the wound management because of their impact on wound colonisation and infection (White, Cooper, & Kingsley, 2001). Microbial colonisation of wounds is characterised by the presence of multiplying microorganisms on the surface of a wound, but with no immune response from the host (Edwards & Harding, 2004) and with no associated clinical signs and symptoms.

Differently, wound infection depends on the pathogenicity and virulence of the microorganisms and on the immune competency of the host and it is determined by the presence of clinical signs of infection such as erythema, pain, tenderness, heat, oedema, cellulites and abscess/pus (Bowler & Duerden, 20011). Therefore, wound infection results in active disease that is likely to delay the wound healing process (Beldon, 2001). Moreover, despite these common criteria to identify wound infection, clinicians should be aware that each wound type may present different clinical signs of infection.

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Isolation and Identification of Bacteria Associated with Wound Sepsis

Thus, the presence of microorganism is not indicative of wound infection (Howell-Jones, Wilson, Hill, Howard, Price & Thomas 2005). However, the probability that a critical microbial load may directly contribute to the non healing outcome in both acute and chronic wounds has been considered and evidence has been shown. Other studies in other polymicrobial chronic infections suggest that the presence of specific pathogens is more important that the bacterial burden. This study therefore examined the isolation and identification of bacteria associated with wound sepsis.

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